TITLE: 10 ITEMS OR LESS - THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON
DVD Release Date: May 1, 2012 (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Manufacture-on-Demand)
Color / 2009
Packaging: Amaray Case
Number of Discs: 1
Number of Episodes: 8
Running Time: approx. 175 minutes
Running Time of Features: N/A
Audio: English Dolby Digital
Subtitles and Captioning: None
Special Features: None
In Season 3, Leslie Pool (John Lehr) faces his biggest challenge yet in Mercy Jones (Kim Coles), a tough SuperValueMart manager who has come from New York City under orders to drive Green & Grains out of business forever. Determined to confront the threats posed by Mercy, Leslie enlists his staff in everything from a knock-off Star Trek convention and a new laser eye surgery center to going "green" in honor of his newly discovered Native American heritage and producing his own CD to save his 150-year-old family business. The final season of this hilarious comedy also stars Christopher Liam Moore, Bob Clendenin, Greg Davis Jr., Chris Payne Gilbert, Kirsten Gronfield, Robert Valderrama and Kim Coles.
Season three continued to air on TBS on Tuesday nights at 11pm ET/PT. The third and final season began on January 6, 2009, with the episode "Turkey Bowling," in which Todd and Carl create a new grocery store bowling game using frozen turkeys. Leslie celebrates the store's 150th anniversary by doing everything the old-fashioned way; Ingrid dates a man who may not be what he appears to be in "Sesquiecentennial." Leslie holds a Star Trok convention in "Star Trok." When Jolene Blalock of "Star Trek: Enterprise" shows up for her celebrity appearance, an exploding refrigerator compressor leaves her trapped in close quarters with Leslie and Ingrid. Leslie's decision to start an eye exam clinic in Greens & Grains sets off a chain of events that results in Leslie going blind, which forces him to live with Yolanda in "Eye Can See Clearly..." After being humiliated by Super Value Mart, Leslie decides to put his whistling talent to good use and gets air play for his tunes in "The Whistler." Leslie is convinced to help Richard's mother overcome her alcohol problems when she is caught shoplifting liquor from the store in "One Day at a Time." Leslie complains about getting too many expired milk jugs and runs up against the dreaded Dairy Consortium in "The Milk Man." Leslie discovers his great, great, great grandfather was a Native American and decides to make contact with the local Shawnee Indian tribe in an attempt to connect with his heritage in "Dances wit Groceries." Episode summaries courtesy of Wikipedia.
The episodes appear to be unedited, with running times over 21 minutes. The first episode of the season, "Turkey Bowling," clocks in at over 27 1/2 minutes. I guess that episode ran with limited commercials originally, or it was just super-sized. The episodes are presented in their original production order (the order in which the episodes were made). TBS aired the episodes wildly out of order. The second episode produced of the season, "Sesquicentennial," was actually the final episode which TBS aired. The runtimes are as follows:
301. Turkey Bowling (27:35)
302. Sesquicentennial (21:04)
303. Star Trok (21:04)
304. Eye Can See Clearly... (21:04)
305. The Whistler (21:04)
306. One Day at a Time (21:04)
307. The Milkman (21:04)
308. Dances with Groceries (21:04)
The packaging comes in a standard Amaray movie-style case. A photo of the season three cast standing next to or on a grocery checkout system is used as the cover art. The show logo and The Complete Third Season mention are above the photo. The back of the case has another photo of the cast inside a gigantic grocery cart, with John Lehr outside and leaning against it. There are three snapshots from the episodes to the left of it. A short synopsis of the third season and the DVD specs are provided. John Lehr is featured on the spine of the case. Inside the case, there is no artwork, just plain black. It would have been great if they included some episode summaries or additional photos. The discs just have a plain white background, with the 10 Items or Less logo. Very generic!
Menu Design and Navigation:
The menu is very basic and no thrills like the other Sony MOD titles. It just has various televisions in the background with a blue/green tint. This is one of the most unimaginative menus I've ever seen. I'm surprised that they just didn't use a cast photo, even if it was just the same one as the cover art. The episode titles are listed vertically in black text in a teal box on the left side of the screen. There's a "Play All" button or you can view the episodes individually. A film cannister type icon is next to the option you highlight that turns yellow upon your selection. Unfortunately, there are no chapter stops within the episodes.
Video and Audio Quality:
The product is manufactured on demand using DVD-R recordable media. The packaging notes that this disc is expected to play back in DVD Video "Play only" devices, and may not play in other DVD devices, including recorders and PC drives. The episodes are presented in anamorphic widescreen 1.78:1 format. As you might expect for such a recent show from 2009, the episodes look and sound great. The show was shot at a real grocery store called "Jon's" in Reseda, California (formerly Vons). They have some excellent lighting as you might expect from a real shooting location. The picture is very sharp, and the colors are vivid. Most of the shooting is done inside the grocery store, although there are a few exterior shots and other locations/sets. For the closing logo enthusiasts, there is just one: Howler Monkey Productions.
The audio is an English Dolby Digital Stereo track. I didn't notice any problems. The volume is at a good level. The dialogue is easy to understand. I don't recall the show using any original songs, so there should be no issue with any music substitions. There are no subtitles or closed captioning on any of the episodes.
Unfortunately, there are no special features included. This is usually the case with these on manufactured on demand type releases. You just get the episodes here. The Seasons 1-2 set had approximately 30 minutes of special features that included interviews and other featurettes. Since this show was cancelled by TBS over 3 years ago, it's no surprise really to see no special features.
All 21 episodes of 10 Items or Less are now available on DVD. The Seasons 1-2 set was released way back on December 27, 2008. That was shortly before the third season premiered on TBS on January 6, 2009. The third season has been available on iTunes for quite some time, but it's nice to see them available in this on demand format for people who prefer them that way. The big change in season three from the first two seasons was that Kim Coles replaced Jennifer Elise Cox as the manager of Super Value Mart. I think they both did a fine job with their respective roles. "Sesquicentennial" is probably the funniest episode of the third and final season.
This was a pretty quirky and funny show. I never watched it originally on TBS, but it makes for some enjoyable and quick viewing on DVD. I was also a fan of some other sitcoms set in grocery stores like Check It Out and Open All Night. I've always liked the mockumentary type TV series and films. If you enjoy shows like The Office, Parks and Recreation, The Office, Arrested Development and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, you probably will find this type of comedy entertaining. This was a pretty unique sitcom because the episodes were almost entirely improvised. They worked with basic storyline scripts, but the dialogue was improvised as the scenes were filmed.
If you have never seen the show, I would recommend picking up The Complete First and Second Seasons on DVD first because it has 15 episodes and around 30 minutes of special features. It can also be bought for under $10. The manufactured on demand system is nice for shows that would otherwise be unavailable on DVD, but over $30 for only 8 episodes of the third season is simply too much for even the most die-hard fans.
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 4.5/5
Audio Quality: 4.5/5
Special Features: 0/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 1/5
-- Reviewed by Todd Fuller on 06/10/12
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